Camille Trail Humming Chain Interview

Camille Trail Humming Chain Interview

A Song about Black Slavery

Camille Trail has released her debut single 'Humming Chain' and its accompanying video. Recorded at Sound Hole Productions with Shane Nicholson, who also produced the track, 'Humming Chain' was written, Trail says, 'about black slavery. It's addressed to those that weren't affected by it. I felt very honoured to work with Shane too, I'm a long-time fan and he's the most humble and down-to-earth person.'

The track is meant to be confronting so Trail didn't hold back with her lyrics, using darker imagery like 'hells rain' and 'rusted bones' to push both the listener and herself out of their comfort zones. It's part Americana yet distinctively Australian and Trail used both Billie Holliday and Fleetwood Mac as inspiration for the track, though the almost attacking language is a result of her own passionate views.

Trail grew up in a family with a strong love of music and realised after high school that music could be a viable career path. She hasn't looked back since, graduating in 2019 from JMC with a Bachelor of Music, specialising in song-writing, and a debut album to follow this single.

The video for 'Humming Chain' was produced by Scape Visuals and shot on Trail's cattle property in Central Queensland. 'It was really fun shooting the video,' says Trail, 'and I really wanted it to reflect the dark theme of the song. We came up with the concept of me travelling a long distance while dragging a chain, symbolising the identity of a slave.' The video's symbolic end is particularly touching.

Trail has played regularly at the Village Festival in Yeppon, and recently played the Festival of Small Halls too. It's an exciting beginning for this young artist and if 'Humming Chain' is anything to go by, she'll be playing to new fans in the near future too.

Upcoming Show Date:
Friday 4 October - The Junk Bar (w/ Sam Buckingham) – Brisbane, QLD

Interview with Camille Trail

Question: Can you tell us about Humming Chain?

Camille Trail: 'Humming Chain' is a song about the African/American slavery that is addressed to everyone who wasn't involved and points the finger saying 'you knew it was happening, yet you turned a blind eye'. It has some darker imagery in it so it comes across as a little confronting and in your face, but it talks about something that is really important that I think should be talked about more often.

Question: What motivated you to write Humming Chain?

Camille Trail: I had just listened to Billie Holidays' "Strange Fruit" and I was so touched and almost speechless with how in your face it was and how the song didn't hold back on discussing those darker themes. So I thought 'I want to write a song that is actually about something, and something important that's worth talking about'. I'm not too sure why but I had been thinking a lot about the African/American slavery that occurred and I guess 'Humming Chain' just came straight out and really flowed. I think I wrote the entire song in about an hour.

Question: Why was it important for you to not hold back with your lyrics?

Camille Trail: I'm not a fan of things that are sugar-coated. I think people should just say it how it is and things should just be as straight forward as possible. So when I was writing 'Humming Chain' I wanted to make sure that when writing about such an important and darker subject, I didn't hold back on telling it how it is. I don't think the song would be at all powerful or portray the message if the imagery in the lyrics weren't dark. How the African/American's were treated as slaves was absolutely horrible and people need to know more about that - so I think having confronting lyrics was crucial and it creates a nice little prosody too.

Question: What's the main message you want listeners to take from Humming Chain?

Camille Trail: I guess what I would love listeners to take away from 'Humming Chain' is just the feeling of 'oh man, that's really heavy and what happened to those slaves is so horrible and not okay that a person was treated that way'.

Question: What was it like working with Shane Nicholson?

Camille Trail: It was so amazing working with Shane, I had the best 3 weeks! When I was young my family and I listened to a lot of Shane's work and I felt so honoured to be working with one of my idols but also such a talented person. He put so much magic in all of the songs on the album and they all turned out to be so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. I learnt so so much from Shane and he really did make my first ever recording experience very special.

Question: What inspired the accompanying video?

Camille Trail: Jonathan from Scape Visuals (who filmed and produced the video) and I were planning out the video and we discussed that we didn't want the video to be fancy because it was more about the message rather than any of the shiny bits. Obviously with the song being about slavery and the title having 'chain' in it, chains were very much on our minds - rusted chains and darker imagery. Jonathan came up with the idea of hanging a chain on a tree and I loved what that symbolised and represented - I thought that was a beautiful metaphor.

Question: What can you tell us about the upcoming album?

Camille Trail: The upcoming album "Devil's Drink" will be released later this year and it has 10 tracks, all of which I wrote. There really is a mixture of styles on there, it's a bit folky, bluesy, a little bit of gospel on there and then you have your country as well. There is also a little sneaky duet on there with something special! I'm really proud of the album and I really love it. It's taken me a long time to discover who I was musically and what I wanted to say and be about so this album is really special. I guess you could say it's what I have been working towards for 20 years!

Question: What motivates you most when writing music?

Camille Trail: It may sound a little strange but I just really love the human mind and all of the crazy and bizarre thoughts you have because they can be turned into something so beautiful which becomes universal. I find it really cool that I can put my heart on the line and write these vulnerable lyrics that completely bares my soul and someone else will hear those words and think 'that's exactly how I feel'. So I am really motivated to write music that people can relate to and maybe even help some people out there. I also get very motivated by hearing clever lyrics that other artists have written!

Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?

Camille Trail: Lately I have been listening to Sugarland a lot, also some Patty Griffin and Jillian Jacqueline.

Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Camille Trail: Another hard question! I just have a really strong passion for music and I want to do it for the rest of my life so I guess that's my inspiration. I recognise that there is a lot hard work involved but it's my passion and my dream so that will be my driving force to work within the music industry and it has definitely been very welcoming so far!

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Camille Trail: I would love to co-write with Kacey Chambers. I think she is an amazing songwriter and it would really be a 'pinch me' moment to write with her.

Interview by Brooke Hunter